Saturday, March 29, 2008

Yorktown Victory Run, 29 Mar 08

The Yorktown Victory Run is a picturesque eight-mile point-to-point race starting at the Newport News Park and follows a bikeway/trail going past the Washington's Headquarters on the Yorktown Battlefield, through Surrender Field and finishes at the Yorktown Victory Monument in the Colonial National Historical Park. Most of last week the weather consisted of mild spring-like temps from 60-80's with sunny skies, but a cold front was to bring in colder temps in the 30-40's with wind and showers. The race starts at 9:00 but no chance of it warming up by then.

I had to leave home early since I hadn't pre-registered and got there in plenty of time to register, get my bib and drop off bag...they were to take the drop off bag to the finish. Since this is a point-to-point race I figured I would need the bag drop off since it would be cold and windy at the finish and I would need dry warm clothes...and I'm glad I did! I ran a nice easy two-mile warm-up through the park...a very nice large park with lots of trails and historic markers. It is windy and cold but no rain and the terrain isn't as hilly as I imagined it would be.

This is a gun time event with no chip, so as the starting time gets near, I drop off my drop bag and head to a spot a row back from the front of the starting line...mostly to keep warm in the midst of the other runners...but there is a brave soul with his shirt off at the start line in the windy 30 something temp. The starter gives us the "Ready...Go" and we are off. We start off on the paved road heading into the wind but after a short time we veer off to the left onto a packed dirt trail...I didn't expect this to be a trail run! We twist and turn on this trail going up and down some small dips dodging tree roots. This definitely wasn't what I expected, but it was beautiful with rivers, streams and the wooded trail . At the first mile marker the volunteer shouts out the time: 6:05, surprising me but looking at my watch it says 6:21...he must have received the wrong information on the start. We keep winding through the trails crossing many small wooden bridges and finally get to a wider and straighter gravel bike trail which we follow for another couple of miles and mile two comes in at seems this trail type run is taking a lot out of me and I'm wishing for the nice blacktop road. Mile three is in 6:39 again and we finally get onto a regular asphalt road and I get a good pace going and after a bit I see the front runners coming back to me so there must be a turn-around up ahead which is just before mile four and mile four is in 6:11...that can't be right and mile five comes in at 6:57 so I suspect one of the mile markers are off but it does give me an average of 6:34 for the two miles which is okay. We are still on the blacktopped road and I see a runner ahead of me and set my sights on him to draw him to me and I pass him just before the six-mile mark and it comes in at 6:27. We leave the blacktop and head onto the gravel trail again but there are only two miles to go so I try to keep the pace and mile seven is 6:28. One more mile to go and we get back onto the blacktop and to a main road. All through the race we have been heading north into the wind but have been sheltered somewhat by the trees but on the main road there is nothing to shelter us from the 15-20mph headwind and it becomes really hard to maintain pace...reminded me of the headwinds on the boardwalk but we race on knowing the finish is just up ahead. We finally make a right turn to the final stretch to the finish...up hill! Not really a bad hill but reminded me of the MCM final hill finish, so I charge up the hill and cross the finish line with my watch showing 52:29. So Steve...I guess we split the difference in your prediction of my finish time of 51:59 and my prediction of 53:00. I went through the food and water line grabbing something to drink and eat and head for the Drop Bag area, find my bag and put on a dry shirt, warm-up pants and hoody. I wait around cheering the others finishing for about 30 minutes but I'm still cold and getting colder so I head to one of the buses to take us back to the start line. I didn't wait around for the official race results so I'll have to wait for the official finishing time when the results are posted to put in all the results.

Official results are in with a finish time of 52:26, which put me in 1st in my age group because the actual 50-54 AG winner was 2nd overall.

Race Results:
There were 8 finishers in the Male 50 to 54 age group and 195 total finishers
Overall finish place was 10 of 195
Age group finish place was 1 of 7
Time: 52:26 for an overall pace of 6:33 per mile

Weekly Totals:
Mon: 31 min Elliptical, 31 min Cycle, 25 min Stairstepper
Tue: 9 miles run, 16 min Elliptical, 16 min Stairstepper
Wed: 31 min Elliptical, 30 min Cycle, 12 min Stairstepper
Thu: 7 miles run, 21 min Elliptical, 10 min Stairstepper
Fri: 31 min Elliptical, 31 min Cycle, 16 min Stairstepper
Sat: 10 miles run, Yorktown Victory Run and warm-up
Sun: 36 min Elliptical, 36 min Cycle, 25 min Stairstepper

Next week is the big Ukrop's Monument 10K!
Everyone have great races tomorrow...Natalie and Stephanie at the ING GA and Steve at the Virginia Duathlon!


robison52 said...

Congrats on a fine victory! I find my own Garmin invaluable during races with incorrect mile markers! Did you find that your racing shoes were sufficient for the trails? The change of course surfaces doesn't appear to have you you train on different surfaces?

Charlie said...

Thank you Bruce!

I need to get me a Garmin. I think it could help me with my pacing which I am terrible at.

I was expecting a regular road race on hard surfaces and may have worn my Asics 2120 trail shoes if I had known for a bit more traction but from checking my pace, the trail sections didn't seem to affect my pace much because the ground and the gravel trails were packed and firm. My regular running shoes didn't give me any problems that I'm aware of. The only minor issues I had was trying to navigate around and over tree roots which are hard to see when you are following another runner close anyway...and doesn't matter what type of shoes you have on. It was hard to pass on some of the narrow sections. Also picked up a small piece of gravel in the tread of one shoe and had an annoying clicking when running on the blacktop. I mainly train on the treadmill with my long runs on asphalt roads so no training on other surfaces. Did do three cross country races earlier in the year which were mainly on trails of hard packed ground, grass and mud when it rained for the last one so that may have helped transitioning to different surfaces as in this race.


Nathan said...

I can not tell you how happy I am to know that someone else thought mile 5 was way too long! I was angry at myself for apparently falling off pace. Mile five for me was 6:51, mile four was 5:55! I figured that mile 4 was roughly 7% too short. I remember you, you ran a good race. Congratulations.

cymrusteve said...

Excellent race Charlie! It certainly looks like you've put Shamrock firmly behind you and have recovered really quickly.

Congrats on your first place in your tough age group too! Impressive...

I'll have to add this race to my list of "want-to-do's" - sounds like a good one.

Have a great week,


Charlie said...

Thank you Nathan! Looks like you had a great race...Congratulations to you too!

I think mile 4 was short and mile 5 long but the two combined probably was the right probably just a misplaced mile marker at 4.

Thanks for stopping by and your comments!

Charlie said...

Thanks Steve!

I was happy with my effort and the pacing wasn't too erratic. Something to build on.

You have a great week too,

Steph Bachman said...

Great race, Charlie! The trail part sounds fun (especially if you were expecting it) and you paced really well! Did you plan 6:30 from the start or did it just happen that way?

Charlie said...

Thank you Ms Stephanie!

6:30 pace was what I had hoped for but slipped some during the middle miles.

It was fun...even the trails.